Manager Keith Curle on team selection ahead of the weekend
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about team selection ahead of the opening weekend of the season.
“The hardest thing I’m going to have to do this week is get the squad down to18,” he said. “That’s why we’ve tried to build a team mentality within the squad because they know I can only pick 18.
“Obviously that can change, as situations dictate, but I’m quite confident that we’re going to be putting square pegs in square holes, which is important.”
“We’ve got good options right across the pitch and that’s a reward for a lot of hard work,” he continued. “We started our recruitment process well before the end of last season and the work we’ve been doing behind the scenes that people haven’t seen has been relentless.
“It’s given us a foundation which we knew was important to find. We haven’t brought players in and then found a formation, we’ve decided on a formation we want to play and then we’ve gone and got the players who can fit into how we want to do things.
“I knew we needed to do things differently. When you’ve conceded as many goals as we have then something has to be done differently, it’s a simple as that. The fact we’ve had a relegation followed by a relegation fight over the last few years means we do need to have a plan B. Starting with three centre backs gives us a bit of solidity and, as we saw on Saturday, the distances and understanding of that role were really good.”
“I’d probably say I’ve got nine players I’m happy with in my own mind for Saturday, and there are probably 15 players who are competing for the starting places,” he explained. “The good thing is the mentality we have in the dressing room means there are 23 of them who are all competing.
“I think that’s very important because it shows me everyone wants to play. I know there will be disappointed players on Friday when I name the team. That’s football, and those people have got to stay on the bus because they will be needed as the games go on.”